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Dayton vetoes two abortion-related bills

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Governor Mark Dayton2 / 3
Rep. Mary Franson, R-Alexandria3 / 3

ST. PAUL—Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed a bill authored by Rep. Mary Franson, R-Alexandria, that would have banned Medicaid or any other state-funded health program from funding abortions.

When Franson was gathering support for her bill, House File 809, she noted that Minnesota should conform to federal standards and join 33 other states that currently ban taxpayer funded abortions.

"My constituents and I do not feel that we should be paying to end the life of an unborn child," said Franson.

In explaining his veto Wednesday, Dayton said that the bill infringes upon women's basic right to health and safety — a right he said every woman has, regardless of the type of health insurance she has.

"The law already states that state funding may only be used for abortions in cases of rape or incest, for health or therapeutic reasons, and when a woman's life is in danger," Dayton said. "This bill would interfere with critical medical decisions that should be made between a woman and her doctor. All women deserve to be healthy and safe."

Dayton also vetoed another anti-abortion bill, House File 812, that would impose licensure requirements upon facilities performing 10 or more abortions per month.

The supporters of the bill said they were trying to prevent any future rogue abortion providers from providing the service in an unsafe way.

Dayton called the measure overly broad and unnecessary.

Dayton said the Minnesota Department of Health believes that current professional licensing standards provide sufficient oversight to protect the health and safety of Minnesotans.

The governor added that the licensure application process outlined in the bill requires the health department to collect information about clinic workers, but fails to protect their privacy.

"This requirement appears to target health professionals who provide abortion services," Dayton said. "Health care research, findings, and conclusions are best left to experts, who are trained to make medical, not political, decisions, and who are in the best position to protect a woman's health. Our place is not between a woman and her doctor."

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